Important Guidelines for Computer Science and IT Students
Are you a computer engineering, software engineering, computer science, IT student etc presently in your final year and preparing to do your final year undergraduate project then I am happy you found this article. Here, I have presented some useful guidelines that will help you achieve success in your project. The points I have presented, help me personally as a student to score good grade in my project so I strongly believe that they can help you to achieve the success you desire.
1. Start Early
It is of utmost importance to begin your project early enough to avoid the pressure of last minute work. Avoid procrastination now and start the project. Pushing the workload to the last minute can result in a low quality project delivery.
2. Choose a Proper Topic
To begin your project early, you must first decide quickly on what you want to do. Usually the school may provide a list of projects for you to choose from or allow you to propose your own topic. If the former, then you can follow the guidelines below to choose your topic:
- Study the topic carefully and thoroughly to make sure that it's suitable for you.
- Double check your heart and be certain that the topic is of interest to you.
- Choose a topic that is attractive but at the same time you think is doable.
- Choose among the topics of a supervisor(s) with whom you feel that you can comfortably communicate.
- Choose more than one topic to have more flexibility; three is a good number, then!
if the latter, then you can follow the general guidelines below to help you find your way:
- Be creative. Look around your environment for problems that technology can solve and make that your subject.
- Look new technologies and find out how they can be applied to solve problems around.
- Choose three topics in order to provide your school and yourself proper flexibility with your proposal .
- Write a literature review for each of the topics or a project proposal to defend your choice .
- Once you have prepared the list, present it to the proper authority, who is supposed to decide on your topics.
3. Choose a Reliable Supervisor
It is very important to choose a supervisor who is reliable. I am sure by now you must have known your lecturers and their various qualities. Therefore, go for a supervisor with whom you can comfortably communicate and also who has knowledge of the area of your chosen topic. You can also contact graduate students about their experiences on different supervisors so that you can make a more informed decision. Also, choose more than one supervisor and prioritize your list. Once you have chosen your supervisor(s), talk to them as soon as you can and register your name with them. If you have selected more than one supervisor, let them be informed that you have done so.
4. Prepare a Project Plan and Act Accordingly
There is usually this tendency to think that there's much time left and hence many students turn to procrastinate until it becomes too late. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you prepare a project plan and also make sure to follow it. I am sure you must have study the importance of using a project plan to control your project in a project management or software engineering course. For your undergraduate project, some main phases you can have included in your project plan are:
- Preparing Problem Statement
- Understanding General Requirements
- Meeting with my Supervisor
- Literature Review
- Writing Project Report
- Preparing Presentation
How to prepare a complete software development project plan is beyond the scope of this article but you can download my project report and you would see a sample project plan on Appendix C. Click Development of an Internship Management System and Two Way Database Synchronization (PDF, 4.4MB) to download.
5. Take Action and Be Consistent
Once you have chosen your project topic, your supervisor and prepare your project plan, it is important to take prompt action. Having a good plan, solely, does not guarantee your success. To achieve your goals, you need to control your project properly. Evaluate your progress and update your plan continuously to reflect this progress. Moreover, you have to compare the progress obtained with the progress expected. The positive or negative deviation of the expected progress can show if you are ahead or behind the plan. Additionally, it would be a great habit and practice to keep a project diary for your project.
6. Attend Supervisor Meetings
Do not ignore meetings with your supervisor but rather hold your supervisor tight in the journey of doing your project. Your supervisor would not provide you with the solution to your project because it is your personal responsibility but he would rather provide valuable feedback that will help you achieve your goals. He will also help you to identify errors in your report so that you can correct them which is beneficial for your defense. For me, one thing I gained personally from my supervisor was the motivation and the encouragement to keep moving forward. Furthermore, if things go wrong during your project defense, the one person who can defend you is your supervisor provided you were consistent in various meetings. I have seen supervisors defend their students during project defense when they were asked questions that they did not know the answer and even give high recommendations about them. So, do not take your supervisor meetings for granted.
7. Per Attention on Your Project Report
A significant percentage of the final grade comes from the project report. Therefore, It is of paramount importance to per attention in your report writing. Do not wait until the project is complete before you begin your report but rather do it in parallel. Make sure to follow the academic writing techniques in your report writing. Endeavor to follow the template provided by your school. Lastly, once the report is written, make sure to proofread and correct all grammatical errors, typos etc.
I hope you found this article useful. Feel free to comment below. Remember to apply these guidelines and make your final year project a big success.
Some good papers to read
- Development of an Internship Management System and Two Way Database Synchronization (PDF, 4.4MB)
- Living Web Application Concept, Logical Functioning and Proposed Implementation (PDF, 820.5kB)
- How to Recover Grub After Installing Windows(PDF, 66.3KB)
- Final Year Project Handbook for Computer Engineering Students (Revision 2.0); D. Vernon; Etisalat University College;
- How to do the Final Year Projects: A Practical Guideline for Computer Science and IT Students; Hossein Hassani; 9788740302776;
- Guidelines for writing an undergraduate engineering project; Mudathir; University of Texas;